Kentucky is (re)open for business. Bars, restaurants and retail stores are open at 50% capacity. You will even be allowed to go to your favorite concert venue and watch a performance. We as Kentuckians are establishing our new normal.
As a doctor, I am more than aware of the increase in cases Kentucky is facing. But that doesn’t warrant another lockdown.
In Kentucky, the largest increase in cases is in those under the age of 40. The only coronavirus patient I’ve had fell into this demographic. She’s in her early 30s and asymptomatic except for a sore throat. This is what a brunt of the cases in young people look like. Despite what you may see on social media, COVID-19 isn’t a death sentence for most.
Kentucky’s reopening is progress that we can’t afford to lose — literally. Kentucky had the worst unemployment increase in the country as 1 in 3 Kentuckians found themselves out of work.
Outside of economic concerns, there are other risks posed by the state returning to a lockdown. At 23.5 cases per 1,000 children, Kentucky has the highest rate of child abuse in the nation. School is essential to those children as it allows them access to safety, nutrition and a proper learning environment.
The best way to fight this virus is by frequently washing your hands and socially distancing — not locking down the state again. If Kentucky is to thrive, not just survive, during COVID-19, we must remain open.